Riding Safety and Protection

Techniques for riding mountain bikes.
Forum rules
Be polite and courteous!

Riding Safety and Protection

Postby wa_desert_rat » Wed May 07, 2014 9:05 am

I wrote this in another forum. It was somewhat off-topic but I thought it would make a good subject for discussion. Quite a few of us on BBB are no longer youngsters and one or two of us (ahem!) are seniors. This doesn't keep us off bicycles but old injuries along with poor choices when we were young can create issues that no one warned us about. With this thread... consider yourself warned!

desertguns wrote:
JazzOne wrote:[quote="desertguns"
Well, maybe I should back up. If you're not falling off your bike or taking risks then maybe you don't need additional pads. And you're still young. Enjoy it while you can. Mostly downhill guys wear full gear. But at 55 I'm wearing extra insurance on some XC/fotthills rides & certainly on mountain rides this summer. I just don't heal as fast as I used to It took one minor accident last summer & one major one last Feb to make me admit that. 8-)


Plus one here on protection. I am considerably older than 55 (although I look much younger (ahem!)) and parts of me no longer "heal" at all; if by "healing" it means that they get to where they stop hurting). The bits that seem to be the most sensitive to stupid tricks I did when I was young are hands, feet, elbows, knees, shoulders and neck. Actually, pretty much in that order.

Fast riding on good road bikes when I was in my 20s turned into an artificial knee when I was in my 60s. Well, ok... that wasn't so bad because it meant that I could get back on bikes again. But artificial knees wear out a LOT quicker than the real ones so I no longer spin at 75rpm. And I stay off road bikes, mostly.

Elbows and shoulders... well it won't take long for you to learn *that*. The most common injury for bicycle riders is a broken collarbone. Then comes wrist and elbow injuries. Wrist from stupidly holding a hand out when falling and elbow and shoulder injuries come from not stupidly holding a hand out when falling. :P

Hands. I rode in the days before gel and before we had anything that actually padded the handlebar bits that my hands touch. Hours of riding with my hands on the brake pads, for instance. Now 30 minutes of that and the pain in my thumb joints becomes excruciating. I wore gloves but the gloves we had then weren't good enough. Plus, later in life I took up paddling kayaks and canoes. "Nuff said....

Feet. I was never a runner, thank heavens, because I can only imagine what the pain would be like if I had been. The knee problems caused me to do some strange things to protect myself from knee pain and one of those things was, apparently, not to stand properly.

Neck. I can no longer turn my head comfortably to the left. It hurts. I can turn to the right ok... not like when I was 20 but not too bad. This would pretty much stop me from racing and it darned well makes it more dangerous to ride on the road where looking back to your left is important on roads that keep you to the right of traffic.

One thing I did right was to wear a helmet as soon as bike helmets came out. Actually, I rode with my rock climbing helmet on for a few years so I wore them even *before* bike helmets came out. It probably saved my brains... oh, look.... a butterfly....

Where was I? Oh ya... ride smart. Remember that saying? "If I had known that I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself!" Well.... it's true. :D

Craig

PS: I'm going to move this post to another forum but I'll leave a "shadow" copy here. :)

C
WDR
http://www.bigboxbikes.com
"No one has ever had to evacuate a city because the solar ;panels broke!"
wa_desert_rat
 
Posts: 2059
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:48 pm
Location: Moses Lake, WA

Re: Riding Safety and Protection

Postby ChiliPepper » Wed May 07, 2014 11:48 am

I am definitely one up on riding protection, especially if you are going to go out of your comfort zones. I am very stern on this with my children, especially my little (not so much anymore though...lol) grom. I wear helmets all the time and a FF when needed or I just feel I need to don on per say.... :lol:

I will also wear forearm/elbow armor when needed and always shin/knee armor unless I am doing just some cruising or XC riding. I go very much out of my comfort zone, as I am big on big hit shredding and huge on fast gravity fed shredding, so I need extra protection. My son is really into the DJ scene more than the big hit FR and gravity fed scene like me, so he also dons on the needed protection.

Anyone whom shreds with me must don on a helmet, and I always carry at least one spare helmet. I only don on skid lids (skate board type helmets), and Pro Tec is the only one I will fly with. They provide extreme protection when needed and are comfortable. :mrgreen:

I am a big advocate for protection, proper riding etiquette, and love to teach all kind of biking skills to whomever needs it or wants to learn. I LOVE BIKING!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Last edited by ChiliPepper on Wed May 07, 2014 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ChiliPepper
 

Re: Riding Safety and Protection

Postby wa_desert_rat » Wed May 07, 2014 1:19 pm

My cycling is much more sedate than yours. Mostly Jeep trails into the desert. My road riding is largely confined to getting to the trails unless I'm just tootling around home (to the store and the like).

I am not religious about wearing a helmet but I do wear one 90% of the time. I rarely go back and unlock the door and get a helmet if I didn't grab one on the way out, for instance, unless I'm going more than the two blocks to my workshop.

But if the weather is cold or hot then I am much more disciplined. I have a snowboarder's helmet (with ear flaps) for cold weather riding that I find changed my attitude about riding in the winter. It is the ONLY helmet I've found that actually keeps my head warm when I'm riding in cold weather. In fact, the only hat that isn't so bukly it's ridiculous.

Oddly enough, the contrary is also true. In warm weather - and especially if it's hot - my bicycling helmets actually cool my head better than no helmet at all; and certainly better than a baseball cap!

But I do consider wearing a bike helmet to be the absolute minimum in safety protection. They are simple and comfortable. The newer models are much better for protection AND cooling, I might add. And the $13 versions at your big box store are not necessarily better than nothing.... ante up the $40 and over for a good helmet.

If I ever decide to shred anything other than cheddar cheese in the kitchen, I promise to wear a skid lid. :D

Craig
WDR
http://www.bigboxbikes.com
"No one has ever had to evacuate a city because the solar ;panels broke!"
wa_desert_rat
 
Posts: 2059
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:48 pm
Location: Moses Lake, WA


Return to MTB Riding Technique

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest